Cloud Computing: Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Economic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Apr 2018
Latin America and the Caribbean is well positioned to participate in the digital economy and leverage its opportunities. Cloud computing is an enabling technology, forming the foundation of big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, and constituting one of the main pillars of the digital economy. Cloud computing allows government customers to access industry-shaping technology at a speed, cost, and scale previously reserved for the largest companies in the private sector. Governments can essentially do more with less and use newly freed resources—in cost and human capital—to address key challenges they face. In addition to maximizing investments and avoiding additional investments in legacy IT infrastructure, cloud computing enables public sector organizations and government agencies to meet mission-critical objectives and to innovate. Cloud computing represents a unique opportunity for governments in the region to improve productivity and facilitate adoption of the latest technologies and those still to come. By eliminating the upfront costs of IT infrastructure, and having thousands of IT tools and almost unlimited computing capacity available with a pay-as-you-go model, cloud computing also represents a unique opportunity to small and medium enterprises and large corporations to adopt and use state-of-the-art IT solutions. To leverage the benefits of cloud services and new technological developments, governments in Latin America and the Caribbean need to undertake public policy initiatives to develop policy frameworks that quell concerns around data protection, cybersecurity, financial market regulation, and data privacy. This publication provides a specific review on key policies and actions to encourage the adoption of digital infrastructures based on cloud that will empower the global competitiveness of Latin America and the Caribbean.